2012 Landscape study reveals consumers engaged across multiple platforms when looking to make a purchase decision

Each year, DAC Group sets out to study consumer behavior at the point of purchase in order to keep a pulse on how consumers use media in their purchase decisions.  The study is the largest of its kind with a sample size of over 5000 across the United States and Canada. Some of the dynamics explored are:

  • How often do consumers search for business information?
  • What media sources do consumers use when looking to make a purchase?
  • How do consumers use search engine results pages when conducting business searches?
  • What is the role of mobile and tablets in the multi-screen purchase process?

For this past year’s study, if you remember nothing else, remember this…

  • Search continues to grow
  • Mobile’s rapid growth YoY
    • Multi-screen world
  • Print Yellow Pages continue to offer strong value in many industries and segments, despite lower usage

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The 2012 study revealed a number of dynamics worth noting.  As is no surprise, media fragmentation continues to grow as does cross-platform usage.  Consider this: nearly 60% of consumers have started a search on one device and continued the search on another device.  Given this, it was inevitable that 2012 was the year for mobile to make its move as well.  While not yet a leading platform, there was significant growth year over year (YoY) overall and in many categories.  This strong growth in mobile exists as mobile platforms are commonly seen as an extension of our daily life.  Print Yellow Pages remain a viable media for many advertisers and usage of them is still heavily driven by life events.  It’s still important to take category into consideration as strategies will differ from presence management to share taking, depending on the vertical.  Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) remain a top choice media as well and certain categories (i.e. Movers, carpet cleaning, auto repair, etc) show very strong growth and usage YoY.  It’s important to recognize that these IYP figures don’t yet include mobile traffic from their apps or mobile websites.

One thing remains true throughout every wave of research we have done studying the landscape and how consumers make business decision: Consumers are engaged and looking for businesses and information. As such, holistic media strategies backed by continuous measurement are necessary to ensure appropriate representation of your brand wherever consumers are looking.  Research and consumer trends indicate that brands should design a “Search 1st”  strategy supported by other media efforts as well as responsive design, continuous measurement, proper allocation and presence management.

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